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Japan pushes renewables, but keeps nuclear in energy plan through 2050

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2050 is the approximate year, Japan will get the technology to start preventinting the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. Out of control to in control.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I thought following the nuclear disaster in 2011 the country would have made more progress with all renewable energies than what it has achieved to date which certainly is better than prior to 2011. The country could have achieved 20%-25% of total power generated from renewable energy by the year 2010 but now will even struggle to achieve that by 2030 and a target of 50% by 2050.

Britain has made greater and more progress with renewable energy, up to 30% on some days.

More use of biomass and bioethanol from sorghum crops. Introduction of hydrogen. More use of biothermal heat.

The Fukushima cleanup, even if achieved will take until the end of this century and beyond costing more than 50 trillion yen which could have been spent on renewable energy.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

A lot has been made of using off shore wind farms, but the effects that they have on local marine ecosystems and also the cost of maintaining them has yet to be fully realised. Governments are unlikely to spend huge amounts of money on expensive upgrade and repair solutions for sea based industry when they could spend less on land based. In the case of the UK, on shore wind farms are controversial because of their aesthetics and the effect they have on the landscape, so putting them at sea has been championed as a win win, but for the reasons listed above they are not with out problems and are unlikely to solve the problem over night. To compound the issue renewables generators only work well if the energy generated by their construction is carbon neutral as well, likewise the energy in erecting them. All those lorries, trucks, construction equipment and ships will generate carbon and will need to be off set initially. Reducing the effect they have overall for a few years at least.  

Its the same problem electric cars have, its all very well that the car itself generates no emissions but the energy used to put power in the car has to come from somewhere and if that is a carbon based power plant you may as well drive a petrol car. Also in order to create those batteries you have to mine for precious materials, a horrendously polluting industry that is detrimental to the environment and also those mining themselves. Also, at the end when those batteries have to be disposed of, yes bits can be recycled but the large majority will end up being disposed in landfill or burnt! Think on that when you next sit in a Tesla! 

I will admit its a start but its not sustainable at the moment, so, like it or not, unless a significant leap in Fusion technology happens in the next 20 years, you cant ignore nuclear power and it will still have a role to play in meeting carbon emission targets.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

To compound the issue renewables generators only work well if the energy generated by their construction is carbon neutral as well, likewise the energy in erecting them. All those lorries, trucks, construction equipment and ships will generate carbon and will need to be off set initially. Reducing the effect they have overall for a few years at least. 

The exact statement can be made about building nuclear power plants. Even the running reactor might become carbon free, the construction of a very complex plant requiring millions of tons of various materials to the mining of uranium and transporting it back and forth across oceans to make into nuclear fuel rods and the eventual cost of decommissioning the plant and the tens of thousands of years of storing nuclear waste.

When one goes belly up, like at Fukushima the costs become astronomical. 100 billion to build and ¥50 trillion to clean it up.

The problem with nuclear energy, is it's easy to turn it on but impossible to turn it off again.

Better than electric cars would be the use of hydrogen and biofuels using the renewable energies to produce it. Certainly the country could have made more better advances since the 2011 disaster but the power companies are a powerful political lobby which over the decades have donated billions into the LDP coffers. They are resisting all change including buying renewable by citing the transmission lines are over loaded when nearly all are using only about 20% and TEPCO about 27%.

The deregulation of the electricity industry has been fudged. Originally the plan was a separation of the power generation companies from the electricity providers and an independent company for the transmission lines. That was to enable better competition and lower prices.

The country needs an advanced smart grid, and even after 25 years of living here, as a former electrical engineer I still can't understand how the stupidity of two electrical systems was ever allowed to happen. The country needs power grid connections to other countries like Russia, South Korea.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Everything gets stitched up here by some clever genius.

One year looking at a sign above the wash basin at school saying: "Please help to save water" I decided to ask around. We have plenty of rivers and reservoirs and dams around here, and I have never heard of water restrictions even in the hottest summer. So, I approached the office staff and the very first person I asked laughed at me. "It means, please help to keep the school's running costs down!" he said. "Huh?" I answered, looking stupid I guess.

"The amount of water in the dams is calculated, and cities and towns in the vicinity are each charged for a certain amount in advance, whether they use it or not, to guarantee that the hydro authorities make maximum profit each year. The price is thus set quite high, so the less water we use here, the less the school has to pay the city, and the more the school benefits!"

Ah, now I understand what "Please help to 節約 setsuyaku (save, cut back on) water" actually means.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If a community wishes to save energy, while providing for a healthy supply of water, they should consider the use of rain cisterns attached to metal roofs - having water nearby may cut down on the amount of energy to pump it. - worth investigating?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Japan pushes renewables"

Why is Japan so insanely behind everyone and so slow to adopt. I am half-way okay with nuclear till 2050, that's fine phase it out. It takes time, but 3/11 should have been a wake up call! That should have been the moment Japan overwhelmingly adopted green energy instead of ramping up coal and LGP.

"If a community wishes to save energy, while providing for a healthy supply of water, they should consider the use of rain cisterns attached to metal roofs -"

You have to be kidding. You are dreaming. We are talking about a society that sits at Family Mart for 2 hours reading manga on their phone with their car running. And buys new cars every 5 years and is per capita is the 2nd highest consumer of paper in the WORLD!

"Eco Japan" is not reality, it is simply a slogan to sell more "eco tires" and buy new "eco aircons". Japan is 2nd only to the USA in consumption of goods and and production of garbage. Its sad that China, while number 1 in many forms of pollution, is number 1 in green energy growth. Japan has a LOT they could learn from China in the last decade.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

zichi - exactly.

What's the enviro-footprint of making 1 nuclear power station, it's operating life and inevitable decomissioning - and thats with zero mishaps?

Everything else pales.

And I believe that the absurd 2 grid system - only Japan in the whole wide world - came out of power company rivalry. The country was sliced into two - East (Tokyo rules) and West (Osaka rules). The East used German equipment - 50 hertz and the West used US equipment - 60 hertz.

So the obvious question is then- "Well why didn't they update as industry & technology grew?"

Easy - mega corporations sharing the spoils. Kind of like Power Kingdoms - literally. Until the modern era many appliances only worked in the zone they were configured for. So no cross border trade (E-W).

TEPCO & KEPCO essentially controlled the country. Why would they change!!!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Nuclear energy is a very much failed program and even at its peak could only generate about 14% of total world power demand. The majority of the world's countries can not even afford nuclear energy and even major power companies including those in Japan can no longer afford the astronomical costs of building a nuclear plant.

The Japanese law limited liability in the event of a nuclear disaster to ¥120,000 billion so how does that compare with the eventual costs of the Fukushima nuclear disaster with costs in excess of ¥50 trillion. In the beginning the figure of ¥5 trillion was kicked around the ballpark but already its more than ¥20 trillion just means money not being spent on other programs.

Renewable energy can be made available to all peoples across the globe and while there are still many major problems to overcome the longer we wait, the longer to make solutions.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

From a renewable perspective Japan has many energy options. But forever stuck in a rut from fossil fuels it doesn't see it. The percentages are not meaningful because until they try to do things the extent of success isn't going to be known. Japan has to just try

It's not for lack of engineers or ideas, Japan has many students around the world helping with renewable research. It's just not funded at home with the brown envelopes in charge

If Japan however were to get serious it would find it not taking so long at all and in fact it would give locals hope for the future for once

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japan does not have competent companies in the field of renewable energy and we rely heavily on imports of renewable technology, such as solar panels

Strangely, after reading that, I then read an article about the world's largest offshore wind turbine being installed near Aberdeen *. The turbine was developed by MHI Vestas, a Japanese and Danish joint venture. It seems some Japanese companies have competence in the field.

Some trivia: This wind turbine is part of a wind farm that Donald Trump objected to as it would spoil the view from one of his golf courses. (Do I hear giggling?)

Commenters should do their part in helping Japan and just stop posting...

I was going to vote you up, but then I thought about the cost. :-)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

10% of the world consumption of electricity is due to the “digital economy” and its growing exponentially.

I think it actually more than that, especially with cryptocurrency but most major data centers are becoming 100% renewable.

Post on JT about Apple using 100% renewable energy across the globe and other companies like Google, Microsoft, Bank of America, are all on the same road.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How many more trillion yen meltdowns by 2050?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How many more meltdown until the UN Security Council yanks control from Japan and bans them from use? 1 more? 3 more? 5?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Some electric power consumption can be exported such as for IT operations. Cloud DCs, AI back-ends, web services, etc. are easily deployed across virtualized DCs that can be located anywhere. Regions such as Norway, Iceland having hydro (cheap, green, and reliable) power and naturally available DC cooling are tapping into this trend.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nobody refers to China, Korea and Russia. They plan continue to build nuclear power plants one after another. Japan worries about they will lose know-hows of it by having no nuclear power plant in the country.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Zichi, totally agree with everything you stated. Unfortunately, it's not about reusable energy, saving the planet, saving lives, and so on. It's all about what lines the pockets of lawmakers/politicians the fastest. Greedy fat cats!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The report did not set out numerical percentages of the country's future energy mix in 2050. An official at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said it is hard to predict a specific energy scenario as it depends on how technological developments in energy sources progress.

In other words, vested interests will keep nuclear in business for years to come.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I do not think any country which today have nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers will stop holding them. On the contrary, they will be building them more of it.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Schopenhauer

I do not think any country which today have nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers will stop holding them. On the contrary, they will be building them more of it.

This has nothing to do with the domestic use of nuclear energy for power generation. Nuclear powered vessels are only used for power and not in any way for weapons.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Nuclear power do not disappear. No renewable power can replace nuclear power generation of vessels.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Schopenhauer

Nuclear power do not disappear. No renewable power can replace nuclear power generation of vessels.

But Japan does not have any nuclear powered vessels. There was a merchant vessel, NS Mutsu which was decommissioned in the early 1990's. There are vessels using renewable power 100% or in part.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Japanese researchers have found more than 16 million tons of rare earth deposits, equivalent to a few hundred years of global consumption, under the seabed near Minami-Torishima, about 1,900km southeast of Tokyo."

"Rare earths are used in a variety of high-tech products, including hybrid and electric cars, as well as the magnets for wind turbines and florescent materials for light-emitting diodes."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

makes more sense for a highly distributed system in Japan given the earthquakes and landslides. That way not one point of regional failure, and cannot happen without renewables all across towns in a variety of configurations. One solution will not fit all

That would be really interesting to do!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Apple now using 100% renewable energy globally.

https://images.apple.com/environment/pdf/Apple_Environmental_Responsibility_Report_2017.pdf

3 ( +3 / -0 )

An estimated 218.2 billion yen ($2.06 billion) of taxpayers’ money will be needed to cover the interest on loans extended to Tokyo Electric Power Co. to deal with the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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